Ahead of Ireland’s largest ever St Patrick’s Day programme, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney, along with Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Dara Calleary, and Minister of State for Employment Affairs and Retail Business, Neale Richmond, again highlighted the importance of international trade for Ireland and the message that Ireland is an outstanding location to invest in and trade with.
This year’s St Patrick’s Day programme will see the widest engagement yet by Ireland worldwide, with Ministers reaching out to partner governments and Irish communities on every continent. In all, 36 representatives of the State will bring Ireland’s message to 74 cities in 44 countries.
Minister Coveney will be travelling to Australia, while Minister Calleary will travel to France and Minister Richmond will travel to Spain and Portugal.
Minister Coveney said, “St Patrick’s Day offers an unparalleled opportunity to promote Ireland around the world and forms a key element of the government’s ‘Global Ireland’ strategy which seeks to promote Ireland as an outstanding location to live, visit, work, invest in, trade with, and study.”
The Ministers recalled that 2022 was a record year for Irish trade with the latest trade data from the CSO showing that Ireland’s international trade exceeded €1,000 billion for the first time.
In 2022 exports (goods and services) reached €545 billion, an increase of €86 billion, or 19%, over 2021.
Imports for 2022 (goods and services) were valued at €494 billion, an increase of €97 billion, or 25%, over 2021.
Minister Calleary said, “Ireland’s exports and imports play critical roles in global value chains and are integral to our economic wellbeing. Our success as a trading nation has been significantly aided by our growing reputation as a global centre for innovation and development. This is the message that Ministers Coveney, Richmond, and I, along with other Ministers, will be carrying around the world over the St Patrick’s day period.”
The Ministers noted that Ireland is the fastest growing economy in the EU and is home to nine of the top ten US technology companies, all ten of the world’s leading pharma companies and 14 of the world’s top 15 med-tech companies.
Minister Richmond added, “as one of the most globalised economies in the world, trade forms the backbone of our economy, spurring economic growth, job creation, and raising living standards.”
Today, 1.3 million jobs in Ireland, nearly half of the workforce are underpinned by international trade and investment.
Minister Coveney’s visit to Australia will include Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth. In France Minister Calleary will visit Paris, Strasbourg and Lyon, while Minister Richmond’s visit to Spain and Portugal will include both Madrid and Lisbon. The Ministers will be taking the opportunity to promote Irish trade and meet business leaders, as well as engaging with political counterparts and meeting the Irish diaspora in the different locations they visit. They will be acknowledging a number of important milestones that occur this year: the centenary of Ireland’s joining the League of Nations; the fiftieth anniversary of our accession to the then EEC; and the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.